Obese patients may have a greater risk of bone fractures than the normal weight population. The link between obesity and bone fragility appears to be more disabling for men. The gender difference could be related to hormones and different way fat is stored in the body.

The research considered over 10.000 US patients and was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. On the other hand, lean mass appears to have a ”protective” role on bone mineral density (BMD) and this occurs equally between males and females. These findings are particularly clinically significant, as patients who were not previously considered to be at high risk for fractures now can be considered.

The research is still limited only for US patients and had precedents in the past that had not clearly highlighted the negative relationship between fat mass and bone health. Currently, data appear to be consistent for population under 60, although it’s not excluded that the same could happen for older patients.

Source: Rajesh K Jain, Tamara Vokes, Fat Mass Has Negative Effects on Bone, Especially in Men: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of NHANES 2011-2018, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2022.

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